Saturday, June 24, 2006

Recital Day...

…and Ava danced.

She went upstairs after breakfast and watching Dragon Tales and actually asked Gwen to put her in her itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini, amazing all three of us. This simple act returned our home to its normal axis, the one that rotates around the enduring law of nature we call ACDA, or, in its more formal presentation – Ava Can Do Anything.

(For those new to the group, to fully appreciate the significance of this little triumph you'll have to scroll down and read the entry marked “Ava.”)

In the days since the rehearsal we’d mentioned the upcoming recital a few times. Nothing heavy, the battering ram is still hanging in the garage, untouched. And she came around, decided she wanted to do it, as long as no one made a fuss and the music up on the stage wasn’t too loud.

So all the Sturm and Drang of two weeks ago was just our amazing little life force deciding to blow off the rehearsal, ditch practice, in the greatest tradition of Jimmy Page or Marcus Allen. "Practice? We don’t need no stinking practice!"

(I know this isn’t the whole story, there was some shyness and fear she had to deal with, and I'm sure she benefited from watching Madison emerge unscathed from the run-through, but this is my blog and this will carry forward as my rendition of these events today and for all time.)

Unfortunately I had to attend the previously mentioned family wedding, so I wasn’t able to see the girls perform. I asked Gwen to take a digital photo of Ava up on the stage so I could post it, but she was thwarted by the fascist dance recital police, who don’t allow private photos or video so parents will buy the overpriced and badly-shot “official” versions. Gwen's eyewitness report was that they both did fantastic, Ava was smiling ear-to-ear while she was up on stage and when she came running off, into her arms, for a hug.

I can’t really do justice on here to how proud I was of Ava this morning, of both of them. Of Gwen, for so carefully and lovingly enabling this achievement by finding the class in the first place, shuttling the girls back and forth week after week, making this happen. This is what you get when you have kids, change everything, surrender an earlier and more self-interested version of your life. You get more back than you believed could be possible, more than you have a right to expect. You get moments like this.

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